Trying to overpower the sound of a hovering helicopter through song, spouting Eastern European poetry during an intense “perogie” workout class and making sense out of the clues connected with an overdue library book ( 123 years overdue) are three of the highlights of the performances I’ve seen the last couple of days at the Fringe Festival in London, Ontario. This material is astounding and only a little sample of the range of inspired and creative work offered. Some of it may not be everybody’s cup of tea but it does make a refreshing change from the usual theatrical experience. Don’t get me wrong. I love the traditional, the classic and typical forms of theatre with all my heart and soul. This alternative offering is different, challenging and staged on a shoe string. It provides enough of a change of pace to alter the atmosphere of the different theatre venues somehow. An interesting observation is the overall audience dynamic. They are all ages, arty and comfortable with each other…..it is this acceptance….this vibe….that is truly worth the price of the entire showcase of performances.
Category Archives: humor
A good fairy appears in my wild garden of perennials and quietly works. Pulling weeds, clipping shoots and branches, tidying up pots and planters, discovering lost garden tools and toting away (with permission!) wheelbarrows full of green compost to my neighbour’s bracken pile she has opened up my little yard again and made it more presentable, enjoyable and loveable. The neighbour is even more into natural gardening than I am and allows me to bring my green compost over to his wildlife sanctuary for the birds, rabbits, squirrels and skunks to shelter themselves in.
My garden is on a rural village street that curves from the park to the main road of the village and serves as a walkway for many neighbours. Everyone walks here. Some of my neighbours have kids , many have visiting grandkids and sweet doggies that need the quiet, peaceful walkway that goes all along my property.
My garden, porch and sedentary bookish lifestyle is on full view and that is fine. However, the weeds and chaos of a jumbled garden can work against the creative vibe so I try to pull and yank weeds with the best of them so I can get back on task with my writing. I can do it but it is an unpleasant effort when it gets crazy ahead of me with weeds and long grass.
Now, the good fairy, home from university, majoring in history and human resources (clever fairy!) and living on a neighbouring farm with her family, flies in and out like a whisper to give me a hand. She has made my wild garden a little more trimmed and ready to burst out in its glory with seasonal appearances of white and pink hydrangea shrubs, blue morning glories trailing up an ivy wall on my little house, white and lilac Rose of Sharon bushes, ENORMOUS pink Himalayan orchids, leafy Boston ferns , a few wild red roses and a quaint trellis covered with rosy bittersweet.
She promises to fly in later in the early fall when she visits her farm family (to help show pigs, sheep and cattle at fall fairs) and come by again to work some gentle magic on the forsythia and lilac bushes that will need to be trimmed so that they can bloom beautifully in the spring. I will take advantage of her willingness to work and get her to dig lots of holes for tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Gently she has coaxed the old and established wild garden to reveal itself gracefully if not as eccentrically arranged as before. Now I can keep ahead of the weeds, just water everything as needed, plant my annuals (bought on sale) creatively in an odd assortment of planters and just wander in the garden. Middle age fairy myself, I truly appreciate the help and can get back to writing, reading, going to artsy events and theatre.
Picture it!Late summer, very hot, an old, small house in a rural Ontario village, an attractive, traditionally built retired, female teacher usually engaged in reading or theatre outings is dragging nasty old junk out of her woodshed. The pile is horrendous. The smell is musty. Possibly mice have lived in the stuff that is being turfed out the door. Dirt has piled up under heaps of old wood and shingles intended for the fireplace but never used. Cobwebs drape themselves across the roof , windows and shed doorway. Crap, and I mean crap from at least twenty-five years accumulated , unloved. Sweat pouring, hair clinging, legs swelling until finally it is all out and waiting for the junk truck guys. A few days pass. The weather forecast isn’t good. Rain, wind a local tornado transpire. The junk doesn’t budge an inch. Then, two strong young enough men arrive in a junk truck and pick it all up in minutes, drive away with it and it’s all taken care of, end of story.
A few blogs back I was trying to be creative and productive so I assembled a few found antiques and pondered if they would inspire a story. After writing a dramatic structure I was satisfied to just leave it alone but wondering what reaction there would be to it. There have been three responses.
One blog response from a stranger who wondered what the heck I was writing but said she enjoyed reading my stuff so she would keep reading. Another response was from TBLN who knows me very well as I’m her maternal aunt. TBLN gave me some feedback on my creative effort as she really gets what I’m trying to do at this beginning point in my retired life as I pick up on a childhood dream to write stories. Finally a neighbour friend just told me with a big grin that she can’t wait to find out why Evelyn , the interfering, palsied neighbour was tormented by the pocket watch…..Well, how the heck do I know?
Maybe it’s because…….
a) the pocket watch once belonged to the interfering neighbour (Evelyn) but she lost it to Melissa in a bet over who would win the best church pie contest …… OR
b) Evelyn had once treasured the watch as a gift from a suitor but he had a change of heart and taken the watch back, intending to woo Melissa with it as they both were great lovers of literature and poor Evelyn was more into horseshoeing but he was hit with a bolt of lightning as he was preparing to present it to her and it was found in his seared clenched fist ….. OR
c) It could only mean one thing, …that Frieda was back in town and bared watching ! (Sorry.)
It’s three a.m. for crying out loud and here I am starting a new blog entry. During the month of July it gets hot around here and this throws off any semblance of a sleeping routine with me. I don’t do well in the heat so I snatch rest in the darkened, fan stirred livingroom siesta style when I can. Often it is too hot to do much around the house until the sun starts to go down so that’s probably why I am still up doing dishes and laundry and blogging.
I’m blogging in the tiny room off the kitchen as it is our only air-conditioned room in the house. It used to be a small garage years and years ago. I’ve painted it, added some cottage curtains, a sofa, recliner and tub chair, computer set up and television. The doorway doesn’t have a door on it as it opens into the entry way and kitchen. So the cool air gets lost for the most part into the rest of the hot little house. I think I will try to block off the doorway somehow with a temporary sheet or something. Now, you don’t get decorating tips like that often do you?
Just before dusk I supervised my young neighbour as he cut my grass for me . I had trimmed a few bushes earlier.So my yard which is on a curved village street open to kindly neighbourly scrutiny looks quite presentable, thankyou.
I’ve read excerpts from my three new books today. The walking book is a nice gentle read and not bossy in its approach to suggesting healing walks. It’s got me moving despite the heat wave but only in little circuits of increased walking. I’d cite it for you but I’m too lazy to get out of the chair and check the title and author. I think it is called Healing Walks for Hard Times. Anyway. it’s good and I’ll refer to it later, in another blog, maybe. Wait till there is a snap in the air this fall and you will see my dust!
The two novels are quite unusual. One is funny and off beat to say the least. It’s called Jitterbug Perfume. I read only a chapter or two but laughed at the absurdity of it. The other novel is rather challenging and complicated with six narratives going on to just sit and read despite being beautifully written. Cloud Atlas is more of a cool day book when it is raining outside and you need a blanket on your knees. It’s too hot to read much of it today but I’ll carry on with it when I can. A neighbour friend brought me a book last week called The White Bone and it is very different and epic in a Grapes of Wrath style but in this heat just reading it lulls me to sleep. It is the kind of book to read when I need to be wearing a wooly sweater and bed socks. Obviously my reading habits have something to do with the heat, hormone issues and my attention span.
Supper tonight was a skillet affair as my oven is on the blink. Some dishes are still soaking and that’s fairly typical as we eat late and then I often bake even later (when the oven works). Most of the laundry is folded and some of it is put away. The cats are out wandering in the moonlight instead of being safely asleep inside the house.Things just seem to be out of sync but that’s perfectly okay.
It’s the heat.